Beyond offering numerous opportunities and optimising the automotive sector, the digitalisation of invoices between companies and freelancers is mandatory from March 29, of 2023, date when both dealers and manufacturers have a period of 1 to 2 years to submit and receive digital invoices.
On September 29, 2022, the law 18/2022, better known as the ‘Crea y Crece’ law was published, aiming to promote digitalisation and decrease late payments in digital operations to boost business growth in Spain.
This law establishes electronic invoicing as the only system that may be used in commercial relations between companies and freelancers.
The Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transition launched a public consultation on the digital invoicing project, which ended on March 22 of this year, with the purpose of allowing different companies to provide their contributions prior the drafting of the Technical Regulation.
Once these technical requirements are published, dealers and manufacturers (companies in general) will have the following deadlines to implement digital invoice, depending on their volume:
For dealers and/or manufacturers with an annual revenue of over 8 million euros, the implementation deadline will be 1 year after the technical regulation is approved.
For dealers and/or manufacturers with an annual revenue of less than 8 million euros, the deadline is extended to 2 years after the technical regulation is approved.
This means that, from spring of 2024, dealers and manufacturers who do not submit electronic invoices may be subject to penalties of up to 10,000 euros.
Although there is not an official technical regulation, the law contemplates the following obligations.
– Invoices must be in Facturae format (XML file).
– They must be digitally signed (Learn more about electronic signature solutions).
– The digital invoices access, view, printing and downloading must be simple and easy for recipients.
– Electronic invoices must remain accessible for 4 years. When the receivers have ceased to be customers, access to the invoice must be allowed for three years thereafter.
In addition to compliance with the ‘create and grow’ law, implementing a tool to manage and submit digital invoices will optimise your daily activities and improve your customers’ satisfaction.
– Saving time and money: Electronic invoice management allows dealers and manufacturers to send and receive invoices more quickly, avoiding the need to overwrite them. It automates administrative activities such as sending invoices and reminders, which optimises most of the accounting procedures. Finally, providing and storing digital invoices guarantees significant savings in the long term.
– Increased security: In addition to complying with the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), the digitisation of invoices makes it possible to minimise recording errors, especially if third parties are involved. The submission of invoices to customers and suppliers is more transparent, while the data remains encrypted for greater security.
– Better tracking: Implementing digital invoices gives dealers and manufacturers a complete overview of their operations. They will be able to know exactly which invoices have been sent, paid and which are outstanding. By combining accounting and invoicing software, clear and accurate data in different formats, such as graphics, will simplify your decision-making.
– Faster and less paper: Invoice delivery deadlines are improved by digitalisation. Through electronic media, the delivery of invoices to customers becomes immediately after their submission of invoices. On the other hand, by being digital, the need to print and use paper disappears, this will prevent your customers from losing their invoices, and they will be able to search and obtain information immediately.
– Responding to customer expectations: Digitalisation is affecting the automotive industry, and the implementation of electronic invoices is a way to respond to customer expectations. Processes such as searching for vehicle models, purchasing and paying can already be done online; allowing customers to review their billing history and access their vehicle file online at any time is just one more step in this tendency.
– Greater security: Digital invoices have greater security, as any modification must always be consented to by the issuer and recipient of the invoice. Otherwise, the invoice would be automatically invalidated. Likewise, the digital invoice must contain an electronic signature, which verifies and authenticates the identity of both the issuer and the recipient, and allows the information to be encrypted with a password so that only the desired persons can access it.
Kit Digital is a Spanish Government initiative that aims to help companies implement digital solutions. Any company from any sector that meets the requirements can access the subsidies of the Kit Digital project.
At Nextlanewe have grants of up to €12,000 for the adaptation, expansion and digitalisation of companies in the automotive sector, including the installation of digital invoicing in dealerships and manufacturers.
Nextlane has partnered with Esker, an international leader in paperless administrative processes, in order to help dealers and manufacturers digitise their invoicing.
Digital Invoice allows you to issue, distribute and archive your invoices in digital format, while offering multiple advantages to manufacturers and dealers:
– 100% secure invoicing in compliance with current regulations.
– Automatic integration of invoicing data into your management software.
– Simplified reporting of the accounting function that can be controlled from your DMS.
The digitisation of invoices is the first step towards the digitisation of other services, documents and procedures. Over time, the digital trend in the automotive industry will enable manufacturers and dealers to increase their efficiency and provide better service to their end customers.